Most healthcare stocks traded higher on Thursday as investors welcomed news that Saudi Arabia has agreed to help Thailand push for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Pcl. (SET: BDMS) gained THB1.75/share, or 5.98%, to THB31.00/share, at the opening bell, while Bangkok Chain Hospital Pcl. (SET: BCH) added THB0.50/share, or 2.67%, to THB19.20/share.
Bumrungrad Hospital Pcl. (SET: BH) rose THB3.00/share, or 1.39%, to THB219.00/share.
Thailand and Saudi Arabia had begun talks over a free trade agreement between the GCC and Thailand, to strengthen fraternal ties between the two countries at the governmental and private levels.
The main subjects of discussion are ways to improve commercial and investment cooperation in areas such as agriculture, industry, tourism, food sectors, and entrepreneurship for small and medium-sized businesses.
In January, the two countries agreed to restore full diplomatic relations for the first time in more than three decades of frozen relations linked to the theft of jewels from a Saudi palace.
According to LH Securities, the healthcare sector has seen an uptick in confidence following news that Saudi Arabia has promised to help Thailand in its efforts to secure a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (including Saudi, Bahrain, Oman, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait). This agreement would make it easier for Saudi citizens to get visas for Thailand, particularly those who seek to visit Thailand for medical tourism.